Cajun ranch dipping sauce

Cajun Ranch Dipping Sauce

A simple Southern dipper…

Like mayonnaise or sour cream, ranch dressing is a perfect base for a mix of fiery spices. It makes it so simple to pull together something with a little Cajun flair. This Cajun ranch dipping sauce has three ingredients only, but the flavor is a whole heck of a lot more than what you’d expect. Cajun seasoning has a wide world of spices in it that give this dipping sauce its Southern charm.

We add additional fieriness to this simple recipe via a pinch of cayenne pepper. You can opt for it or drop it completely if you want a milder overall flavor. We like it even hotter than a pinch (think 1/4 teaspoon) if you’re one for extra-spicy in everything. Use this Cajun ranch dipping sauce with fried foods (it’s so yum with fried pickles – try it with this recipe). It’s also delicious with a simple vegetable platter – it beats the heck out of a plain ranch salad dressing dip with crudites.

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cherry habanero bbq sauce

Cherry Habanero BBQ Sauce

Cherry on the edge…

The rich flavor of cherries is a perfect foil for the more extreme end of the pepper scale. Here it’s the habanero pepper that drops the spice hammer in this fiery barbecue sauce recipe. It’s bold – sweet, tangy, earthy, lightly smoky (thank you chipotle powder) and of course spicy. Plenty spicy.

Of course, you can remove the habanero from the sauce before using (since it’s roughly chopped), or if you’re like us, pull out that hand blender and incorporate that delicious sweet fire that habaneros are so well known for into the sauce. This option certainly is not for everyone, but it’s not exactly a family-friendly with option one either. While it’s not ghost pepper hot, this is a bbq sauce for more extreme eaters however you cut it. It’s delicious with grilled pork and grilled chicken as a marinade or wet rub. Or try it as a fiery dipping sauce for chicken tenders.

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Spicy No-Sugar Baked Beans

Spicy No-Sugar Baked Beans

Bring on the smoke…

Brown sugar is a staple for many tasty baked bean recipes- it’s earthy and sweet, perfect for the rustic flavor of this popular BBQ side. But that extra sugar isn’t the best option for everyone. If you’re cutting the sugar from your life, here’s a no-sugar baked bean recipe that still provides plenty of flavor, including a nice level of heat.

Liquid stevia subs in for the sweetness while a little liquid smoke and chipotle powder bring the fire and an earthy smoke to the side. This is a slow cooker recipe, so plan ahead. You’ll need time to both soak the beans (8 hours) and slow cook the heck out of these ingredients (another 8) to get a nice smoky flavor through and through.

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Salt-free Cajun Seasoning

Salt-Free Cajun Seasoning

No salt with a smoky twist…

This is a spin-off of our homemade Cajun seasoning recipe for those who need a salt-free recipe option. Sure, it’s simple to simply pull salt from the original recipe, but salt surely is a flavor enhancer. We like to add something a little different to the mix to bring something special to a no-salt Cajun seasoning alternative. Here it’s a touch of chipotle pepper powder to go along with the cayenne and paprika.

This addition adds a little more spice, along with an undertone of smokiness to the Cajun seasoning. It’s these flavor additions that make this spice blend its own unique take on Cajun seasoning. Don’t want the smokiness? That’s ok, simply remove the chipotle powder from the recipe and you have a blend that’s plenty tasty ready for use! Sprinkle it over steak as a spice rub or use it with soups and dressings to rev up the flavor.

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Spicy Peanut Butter Cookies

Spicy Peanut Butter Cookies

Nutty and naughty…

For those that love peanut butter (who’s not raising their hand?), get ready for a cookie evolution. Introducing cayenne pepper to the ever-popular peanut butter cookie is sure to make your taste buds scream and shout. It’s earth and fire, sweet and spice, nutty and naughty all in one.

But cayenne pepper is only one direction you can turn. This is one versatile cookie when it comes to spicy seasonings. You could opt for the extreme – something even fiercer (like habanero powder). Or turn things down a notch or three while adding a hint of smoke (with chipotle or ancho powders). They all work and each brings its own twist to this cookie favorite. Feel free to experiment as the traditional peanut butter cookie is a great canvas from which to play.

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orange chipotle sauce

Orange Chipotle Sauce

A tangy twist to BBQ…

The tangy, citrusy bite of orange is one of our favorite flavors to pair with pork on BBQ day. Now throwing chipotle pepper (one of our chili pepper favorites) into the mix, too, makes one delicious flavor pairing for the grill. It’s all good things in this orange chipotle sauce: tangy, smoky, earthy, and bold.

Don’t limit yourself to pork here (though yes, it’s oh so good with pork ribs). It also pairs well with grilled chicken, or you can use it as a dipper for chicken fingers for something different than the norm.

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Ancho cream sauce

Ancho Cream Sauce

Perfect for Mexican night…

Want something different than the typical salsa or tomato-based chili sauce for Mexican night? Something that’s mild enough that the whole family can enjoy, yet still has plenty of flavor? Meet the ancho cream sauce. It’s super-mild (ancho peppers are typically half the heat of even the mildest jalapeños), yet anchos are packed with flavor. They’re earthy, slightly smoky, and even a little sweet – a perfect foil to rich cream flavor.

Use this sauce with tortilla-based Mexican meals – enchiladas, burritos, or quesadillas are all great options.

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